More on the Minhocão

Not long ago, I wrote a post about the Minhocão—the massive, monstrous “earthworm” from Brazil that was widely reported during the late 1800s. Digging deeper, it seems the Minhocão is not confined to Brazil; its range extends much farther. A similar creature that is known as the “sierpe” is thought to live, or at least thought to have lived, in Nicaragua.

Comparisons are drawn between the Nicaraguan creature and the Minhocão in an article from the 1800s. The following is from the science journal Knowledge, printed on May 26, 1882:

The attention of the public is from time to time called to the supposed existence of a sea-serpent of enormous size, and the question of its existence has of late found a place in your columns. Probably few people have heard of the Minhocao, a worm of, according to some accounts, fifty yards length, and five yards breadth, covered with bones as with a coat of armour, and in its burrowings rooting up mighty trees, diverting courses of streams into fresh channels, throwing up heaps of earth, and in its course making trenches about three metres in breadth. The reports of this animal, which has its existence in the highlands of the southern provinces of Brazil) seem well authenticated, and are as marvellous as those of the sea-serpent, if not more so. The accounts, however, as to the size and appearance of the animal are uncertain. It is supposed to be a relic of the race of gigantic armadilloes, which in past geological epochs are said to have been abundant in South Brazil.

The belief in this monster is not confined to Brazil, but is shared in by the people of Nicaragua, where a tradition of such a monster has existed from time immemorial; and as recently as the year 1866 a Nicaraguan Gazette gives a circumstantial account of an object much the same as the Minhocao. The accounts, however, of the Minhocao of Brazil are still more recent.

I have read that the Romans in their wars with the Carthaginians are said to have fallen in with a serpent 120 feet long, which dwelt upon the banks of a river and had tough scales.

As the existence of such an animal seems as interesting a subject of inquiry as that of the sea serpent, perhaps Knowledge may admit inquiries on the subject.

Leave a Reply